Subsistence - ColdGames

.44 Revolver
It's been a long time since a new firearm was added to the game, so I wanted to spend some time implementing one of my favorites.

The .44 Revolver packs some serious firepower, and is ideal for close to mid-range combat. The .44 rounds are a little more expensive than the 7.62's and the weapon itself requires weapon parts to craft. So players will need to open locked crates, kill some hunters, or raid a base before they can acquire the weapon.

I'm hoping the addition of the Revolver will add more depth and variance to the combat, and give players more choice in how they want to arm-up.

Hunters don't currently use the .44, but that will come soon. I want to get some feedback on the firepower before I add it into their load-outs. The Revolver can be upgraded in the WorkBench like the other firearms.

Big Performance Optimizations

Many players are still experiencing low fps (even some with beefy GPU’s). Solid fps is a huge priority for me, as I know how negatively a low fps can impact gameplay. It’s an ongoing mission for me to get the game running as best as it can, even for low-end machines.

Running profiling tests on system resources during gameplay, I discovered a large amount of CPU used by the AI and their thought processes. I’ve done a full overhaul on the system and have trimmed a huge amount of unnecessary calculations being made every game tick. There shouldn’t be any noticeable difference in their behavior from a player’s perspective.

The impact of these changes (on my dev machine) is more than +20% increase to fps. This could be much higher for players currently bottle-necked by an older CPU (or on laptops). I would encourage players to max-out their settings and see how the game runs on the new update.

Fiber visibility (hotfixed last week)

Since the color-grading updates, fibers became even more difficult to spot, leading to frustration for many players. I’ve updated them visually to be more apparent in the foliage, and slightly increased their size. I welcome feedback on this change.

Thanks as always to everyone giving feedback and suggestions in the forums. I try to read all the threads. It helps immensely when players share their thoughts on the current state of the project. Please let me know if you experience any issues with the update.

Have a great week!
Subsistence - ColdGames

Animal/Hunter Interactions:
One of the most requested features since launch. It’s always been particularly jarring and immersion-breaking to see predators standing side-by-side with hunters in their base. Finally, animals and Hunters will now fight against each other (regardless of whether the player nearby). Hunters are now at increased risk in the world, creating a more level playing field for players.

This also means players will not always be at a disadvantage when an animal gets involved during a battle with the hunters. The balance can swing both ways, and hopefully this will lead to deeper combat strategies and unexpected scenarios.

This has been a tricky one to balance, and there will surely be further tweaks needed once players have spent some time with the update (so feedback is welcome). I believe this change goes a long way to making the world feel more alive and dynamic. Hearing distant gunshots in the night, from unknown battles taking place certainly should help add to immersion.

Big-base performance optimizations:

Many players have built huge structures (which I love to see in the Steam screenshots). However these mammoth bases have led to some degraded performance, which sucks.

I’ve made steps to address this by implementing LODs for all base structure pieces and tweaking the lighting as they transition through the LODs. I’m seeing improvements of around +15fps while inside and near these large bases. Thanks to GameEdged for letting me benchmark my tests on his build (featured in the pic above). You can checkout his channel here.

Graphics Color-Grading Overhaul:
The in-game world just became a lot more colorful! I’ve done a full overhaul on the color-grading of the in-game render. This has been bothering me for a long time. The color pallet has always felt washed out and flat, with an overuse of grey and muted tones.

The new color-grading enhances the depth of shadows and boosts the vibrancy of the colors. I’m pretty happy with the result, but please let me know what you guys think.


Other notable changes:
  • Fixed bug where item hover-tip would popup without mousing-over the item.
  • Increased distance and added distance-lowpass-filtering to gunshot and animal attack sounds (allowing players to hear distant fights).
  • Added loot spawns to Workbenches in hunter bases.
  • Increase dropped gear expiry timer to 10 minutes in Easy mode.
  • Fixed exploit that allowed players to hide under foundations and axe animals to death.
  • Mounted floodlights can now be placed on the ground outside the base.

  • Fixed exploit that allowed players to spam the craft button in the BCU to craft multiple items without deducting the appropriate power/mass.
  • Slightly increased the range of the glowstick.
  • Increased the hunter’s turning speed (they needed a small stat boost now they’re up against predators).
  • Fixed bug that led to some player’s profiles to crash on load, after the wearable armor update.
  • Prolonged the duration that hunter corpses will remain in the world.
  • Fixed annoying gaps between windowed walls.
  • Reduced how much mass weapon-parts yield.

I know there are lots of issues that need addressing, and missing features needed. The feedback on the forums has been a massive help in prioritizing the issues, as well as some great suggestions and discussion on the future of the project. Thanks so much for all the support, it really means a lot.

As usual, please let me know of any issues or problems with the update. Have a great week!
Subsistence - ColdGames


Since the hunters began attacking player bases, night-time raids have led to some frustrating and underwhelming battles, where players were unable to see the hunters during the attack, and had to hide in their base, unable to fight back.

Craftable Floodlights:
Today’s update introduces craftable Floodlights to provide illumination for base exteriors. There are two types of floodlights; standard and mounted.

Mounted floodlights come mounted on a stand (useful for placing on decking), while standards can be attached directly to base walls.

Centralized Switches:
Players can also now craft Floodlight Switches. The switches can be placed anywhere in the base and provide a quick means to flip all base floodlights on and off. This can be particularly useful during surprise attacks.



The new craftable items can be found in the BCU crafting menu (let me know if the recipe balance seems off). Floodlights use more power than standard base lights, so make sure you have ample power and storage for when you need to use them.



As well as many other minor bug fixes, I’ve put some work into automating my release pipeline, making it much easier to roll-out releases. These changes will also prevent players having to agree to the Epic EULA after each patch (although this won’t take affect until the following patch). I’ve had to tweak the default control scheme again, so unfortunately some players may need to reset their controls after the update. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes this week, which doesn't reflect in the current update content, but is necessary to move the project forward. Please stay tuned for future updates and details.

As always, thanks to everyone that’s been supporting the project and giving feedback on the current state of the game. I read the forums everyday, so if there are issues you’re experiencing, please do share so I can work to resolve them.

Cheers
Subsistence - ColdGames

Wearable Armor:
Since the last few updates, there has been an increasing need for better protection during combat (especially from lucky hunter headshots). Players can now craft the Combat Vest and Combat Helmet, both found in the default crafting menu.

Headshots: Without head protection, headshots do 4x damage. Wearing the helmet brings damage down to 1.5x. So it’s still worth going for headshots when in a fight.

Evolving, Geared-up Hunters:
Hunters can now make use of the new wearable armor. A new system allows hunters to gear-up based on the threat they’re under. Repeatedly attacking a hunter squad will force them to start crafting better armor in defense.

The hope is that players who enjoy waging war on the hunters, will be presented with a tougher fight over-time, whilst peaceful players will face less risk.

The hunters will slowly gear-up regardless of whether they’re being attacked. However to a lesser extent than those taking repeated attacks. The extent and speed at which the hunters will gear-up varies across easy/normal/hardcore modes.

Revamped Clothing Profile:
With the addition of the new wearable clothing items, I’ve reworked the clothing profile to allow extra clothing slots. Clothing items can now be added in any order (rather than specific slots for certain clothing types). They can also be added/removed by shift-clicking in and out.


Camera Movement Physics:
Prior to this update, the camera movement remained entirely static while moving around the geometry of the world, leading to movement physics feeling stiff. Now jumping, landing, crouching, etc, prompts appropriate camera movement, giving a more weighty feeling to character movement. This includes when taking damage. I may further tweak this based on player feedback.

Tweaks to Difficulty Modes:
Easy mode: Animals and hunters now tire quicker when chasing players, allowing for easier escape for players that enjoy a more casual experience.
Hardcore: Hunter bases can now hold up to 4 hunters per base (previously a max of 3). This, along with the new geared-up hunters will present an increasing challenge for survivors who enjoy hardcore mode.

Other fixes/changes:
  • Pressing the currently selected toolbelt item will unequip the item.
  • Added audio feedback for dragging and dropping items within inventories.
  • Fixed bug where hunter squads would stop periodic attacks on player bases if killed en-route to an attack.
  • Cloth can now be crafted using cotton.

  • Updated the default config and mouse sensitivity to better align with standard control schemes. Unfortunately this may reset current controls (which you can change back in the in-game menu, sorry for the inconvenience).
  • Hunter jackets can now be torn into cloth.
  • Added contextual hints of how to butcher animals, for new players.
  • Removed sound indicating when the last hunter in a squad has been killed.
  • Fixed bug where items wouldn’t auto-stack onto the last slot in the refinery.
  • Fixed crash when loading a save game, when base names contained certain special characters (sorry to those who encountered this bug).
  • Many other small updates.
As always, thanks to everyone who’s been submitting feedback and participating in discussions on the forum. It really helps to hear directly from those playing the game, and I try to ready all the discussion threads. Please let me know if you experience any issues with the update.

Cheers
Subsistence - ColdGames

Base Armor Upgrades
Since the last update (when hunter squads began attacking player bases) players have reported a greater need for base protection. Today’s update introduces armor upgrades for nearly all base structures.

Upgrades can be made using the Hammer and require metal Alloy Sheets. Alloy Sheets can now be crafted at the workbench (while also found in locked crates and in hunter bases).


Armor-upgraded base structures have nearly 3x the hitpoints of wooden, and are cheaper to maintain. Please let me know if the cost and maintenance of the upgrades is off-balance.

New hunter bases
A new and larger hunter base has been introduced. Also hunter base sizes have been staggered, such that early-game hunters will build smaller bases, and later game-hunters build larger.



This is only the beginning of the progression I have planned for the hunters. I know that hunter/animal interactions are needed, and this is high on the list of upcoming features.

Other changes/fixes:
  • Fixed multi-BCU bug that caused base items to go missing when reloading saves (thanks to Zuleica for helping isolate this issue).
  • Fixed bug with second upgrade on the solar panels.
  • Added refinery to the smallest hunter base (so more loot when raiding).
  • Hunters will now build solar panels on their bases.
  • Reduced chances of night-time hunter base attacks.
  • Fixed bug where crafted items wouldn’t stack in the workbench.
  • Fixed bug where Refinery lasers would stay active when all ore was processed.
  • Fixed bug where rogue hunters were attacking player bases, unprovoked.
  • Health-kits now require 1*cloth to craft (I welcome feedback on this).
  • Reduced noticeable texture-tiling of wood base walls.
  • Fixed bug where domesticated animals wouldn’t re-enter the Animal Housing.
  • Added new footstep and landing sounds for many surface types.
  • Added new impact sounds for tools hitting ground and metal surfaces.
  • Added slightly warmer tones for daylight color-palette.
  • Repairs to wooden structures now heal more hitpoints (75 rather than 50). Meaning less resources required to make base repairs.
  • New sounds for player landing after falls/jumps.
  • Fixed broken LOD of wood doorway (would show incorrect texture when viewed at range).
  • Tightened-up aim in rifle.
  • Reduced time to disassemble base items.

I really appreciate all the support and help from the community. Player feedback and critique is playing a huge part in shaping the game as the project continues to evolve.

Please let me know if you experience any issues with the update, and I'll see you on the forums.
Subsistence - ColdGames


Hunter Base Attacks!
Players are no longer invulnerable to AI threat by hiding in their bases. Once neighboring Hunter squads have partially established their bases, they will begin launching periodic strikes on player bases, in an effort to push them off the land by force.

The frequency and ferocity of these attacks will differ across easy/normal/hardcore modes. Base repairs and adequate defenses will become much more important to maintain base-security.

New AI combat mechanics:
Hunters are now trained to use grenades (and their squad-mates will react when thrown).

They can also now fire through windows, doorways, balconies, etc. Players will need to utilize cover as best as possible when in combat. They are also now better able to judge arrow-drop when using the bow at range.

Their attack patterns have also been changed, so should present more of a challenge on an initial encounter (rather than walking in a straight line towards the player before shots are fired).

Players that have become used to building hunting outposts to engage Hunters should be prepared for a difficult fight if using the same tactic.



Hunter Revenge System:
Players should think twice before engaging a hunter near their home base. Killing a hunter by their base will not be forgotten. Once regrouped, they will launch an assault on the killer’s home base the following day.

Hunters will still attack regardless, but at a much lower frequency, so make sure you’re prepared if you antagonize them. This should offer trigger-happy players more opportunity for combat, while peaceful players longer periods of rest.

New AI Navigation System:
I’ve implemented an entirely new navigation system for the AI (Hunters and animals). This was required to allow the Hunter to traverse the entire map to hunt down players. However the result of this change should impact all player-AI engagements.



Animal starting levels across difficulty modes:
Up until now, animals would have the same starting levels across all difficulties (between 1->4). This led to level 4 bears mauling players trying to start-out in easy mode. This has been balanced out so that higher difficulty modes result in higher animal levels. This will mean that easy should be easier, while hardcore will be more punishing.

Other notable changes:
  • Added audio feedback when killing animals and Hunters (as well as a specific sound to indicate when the last Hunter in a squad has been killed).
  • Reduced bow damage against buildables (doors, etc).
  • Seeds can now be extracted from tomatoes.

  • Broken legs and bleeding now save during save-games.
  • Added damage skins for railings.
  • Tweaked many of the footstep and weapons sounds to attenuate over distance.
  • Hud notices to indicate when a player’s base is under attack.

This update has been much larger than usual (in terms of new code), so there is a greater chance of bugs and oddities that may occur (especially with Hunter squads hiking across the world). I’ll be keeping a close eye on the forums and really appreciate any reports and feedback from players testing the build. I may need to push out some hotfixes to address any nagging issues.

I’ve really appreciated the patience from the community while I worked on this one (I know it’s been longer than usual). I’m excited for how these new changes will start to evolve the game. The player feedback, criticism and discussion-threads have been incredibly useful, and I try to read it all.

Thanks for all the support! See you on the forums.
Subsistence - ColdGames


Performance Optimization Overhaul!
Many players have reported performance issues and low or inconsistent fps (even on decent rigs). This has been a continuous concern for me, as I know how important a stable fps is for immersion and enjoyable gameplay.

I have done a full performance overhaul and am seeing significant increases to fps. I would encourage players to max their graphics settings and see how the game performs after this patch.

Hunters now trained to use the bow:
Both standard and rogue hunters can now use the bow, and have a full set of weapon handling animations. Also a new system for weapon-changing based on circumstance.

AI spacial awareness:
It was immersion-breaking when animals or hunters would just stand there while bullets/arrows landed at their feet. All AI now respond accordingly to shots fired near them. The hope is this will make hunting small game with the bow more challenging (and satisfying), as missing the first shot now has consequence. Unfortunately animals still don't react to hunters, but that will come soon.

SP profile stats:
The SP launch screen now displays the number of in-game days, and number of deaths for each profile. I plan to further these stats in future updates.



Another small notable change is that the bow no-longer requires cloth to craft (relieving the need for crates to arm yourself during hardcore mode). Also, fixed a notable glitch that allowed players to spawn free arrows for the bow.

As always, thanks for all the feedback on the current state of the game. It helps so much to read your thoughts and discussions as I continue to iterate on the game. Please let me know if you experience issues with the update.

Have a great week!
Community Announcements - ColdGames
Hi guys,

Firstly, sorry for the delay on this update. I was away travelling for one of my best friend’s stag.



This week’s patch adds a new Hunting Bow to the player’s arsenal.

Many players rightly expressed a need for more primitive weapons in the game. The Hunting Bow is a step towards addressing this need (as well as offering some challenging handling mechanics). The bow can kill small animals with a single arrow, however has a slower rate of fire, and requires precision-aiming to land hits.

Arrows can be retrieved, however there’s a 20% chance of them breaking (and will break every time if fired into rock). Currently you can not retrieve arrows from corpses (however this will change soon).

It’s advised to take some practice shots against trees to get a feel for the range and drop of the arrows.

There will undoubtedly be balancing needed to fit this new weapon into the game’s item economy, so I welcome any/all feedback. I’ve taken a lot of care with it’s implementation and am happy with how it’s feeling, but am ready to make changes to its handling once you guys have given it a try.

As always, please let me know if you have any issues with the patch. See you on the forums.

Cheers

Ps. I have a short stint of travel this week for work, but as soon as I’m back, regular updates will resume as usual.
Community Announcements - ColdGames


Hi guys, tonight’s update sees the addition of Rogue Hunters.

Rogue hunters are less predictable than the existing hunter squads. They regularly pick new camping spots, and aren’t concerned with building large bases, instead favoring simple camps under the stars. Equipped with lower tiered arsenals and less armor, they present less of a threat during combat. However they can take the player by surprise due to their variable camping spots around the map.

They will begin to move into the world a few days after the existing hunter squads start building their bases. Players with established save games will have them begin moving in within a day.

The number of rogue hunter camps is dictated by easy/normal/hardcore modes, as well as the number of hunters occupying each camp. They can be disabled/enabled as usual using the checkbox when launching a game.

My hope is that they will introduce more interesting surprise encounters, as well as providing additional looting opportunities for players looking for a fight. They are currently fairly rare, so don’t expect to see them around every corner. I’ll wait for feedback from you guys before tweaking their frequency and behavior.

As always, this update is intended to be iterated upon, so I welcome any/all feedback. I know there are many other things that need immediate attention (such as animal/hunter interaction, lower-tiered weapons, map expansion, further base technology progression, etc). I really appreciate everyone’s patience as the early access moves forward.

Please do let me know if you experience any issues with the update, and thanks so much for all the feedback and discussion, it really helps a lot. I’ll be on the forum.

Have a great weekend!

Community Announcements - ColdGames
Hi there, another quick update. Here's a list of the more notable changes in tonight’s patch:
  • Added new fire-starter kit item. Many players rightly complained about the reliance on RNG for finding matches in crates (especially in hardcore mode). You can now craft an ignition source with purely natural items.

  • Reduced amount of matches spawning in supply crates (and from starter kit).
  • Added hud indicator for condition of buildables. So you no longer have to use a hammer to find the health of a buildable. When you are facing the buildable, it’s health will show top-center (useful for accessing damage when grenading into a hunter base).
  • Loot can now be found in several of the devices in hunter bases (rather than only the storage chest).
  • Now a chance of finding crafted solar panels in hunter bases when raiding.
  • Hunters now perform routine repairs to damaged base items.
  • Enabled hunters dropping kit on death in hardcore (previously disabled).
  • Hunters now occasionally skim the ash from their campfires.
  • Small animals can no longer be permanently kept in inventories or storage chests. They will eventually die unless placed inside an animal housing and fed/watered.
  • Fixed bug where hunter base lights would turn on/off when no hunters were present.
  • Jumping while crouched will now make the player stand-up (small thing, but used to really bug me).
  • Fixed a couple of areas on the map where players could get stuck in the geometry.
More substantial changes will be coming soon. I’m keen to continue taking steps away from such heavy reliance on supply crates and fleshing out the core gameplay loop, as well as building out the hunters and their behaviour.

Thanks to everyone that has been patient with the early access bugs and balancing issues. I really appreciate all the feedback and suggestions that players have been posting. I’ll be on the forums as usual!

Cheers
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